This paper deals with the evolution of the concept of sport and the changing sport participation patterns in Europe. The concept of sport has evolved under the influence of the “Sports for All” philosophy. The entire Sports for All campaign has helped open up the definition of sport. Its borders have been shifted, both for participants and scientists. There are now more sports than ever, and more physical activities are considered sports. Sport participation is a result of a complex set of factors: facilities and organizations, patterns of sport socialization, personal motivations, and also the current changes taking place in society. In this discussion, special attention is paid to the relationship between sport socialization and sport participation patterns.
Direct all correspondence to Urbain Claeys, Dept. of Sociology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, E. Van Evenstraat 2c, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.